The UAE’s next space challenge: the MBZ Sat satellite

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The MBRSC space center, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in style this year, plans to send up the region’s most advanced, locally built Earth observation satellite next year.

Big ambitions

Created in Dubai in February 2006, the space center MBRSC (Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center) is the armed wing of United Arab Emirates in carrying out its orbital projects.

These started with the small Earth observation satellite DubaiSat 1 (developed in cooperation with South Korea and launched in July 2009 by Russia).

This year, between March 2 and September 4, the astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi flew the colors of the UAE and the MBRSC high, becoming the first representative from the Arab world to complete a long-term stay aboard the International Space Stationduring the Crew 6 mission.

Observation of the Earth, exploration of the Moon and Mars, regular manned flights…: the emirate does not lack ambition for the future, as explained to us on November 14 Salem Humaid AlMarrithe Director General of MBRSC, during a wonderful tour of its premises.

Starting with the commissioning next year of a fourth Earth observation satellite, 1 ton class: MBZ Satmade locally.

Departure on Falcon 9

With MBZ Sat (referring to Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan, the political leader of the United Arab Emirates), the aim is to have the most advanced commercial high-precision, high-resolution Earth observation system in the world. region – i.e. an ability to reveal details 24 hours a day in an area of ​​less than one square meter, that is to say three times higher than that of KhalifaSatthe third Emirati Earth observation satellite, in operation since October 2018.

With a takeoff mass of around 700 kg (compared to 330 kg for KhalifaSat), MBZ Sat must be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 613 km.

Its launch will be entrusted to a launcher Falcon 9 of SpaceXas part of a shared mission Carry which should take place between July and September 2024

John Walker Avatar